Not too long ago, the team here at Capella Singapore welcomed our new Executive Assistant Manager of Food and Beverage, Eric Guth. He hails all the way from France, a fairly long way from our little island here in Asia.
Just recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to have a chat with him and to find out his thoughts on working in Asia.
What do you like about working in Asia?
I’ve always wanted to come out to Asia! My Grandfather and Uncle had visited and experienced the culture and would return with such amazing stories.
Now that I’m here I have to agree. Asia is truly a continent of opportunity and it’s growing very fast, especially economically. The countries and people here are creative and competitive and there are so many different cultures, each with their own special traditions which are reflected in their food, beverage, art, architecture and so on. It is a very different experience altogether!
What was your biggest “surprise” coming to Asia?
Everything was surprising! The smells and the sights – it’s a completely different environment from home. The Asian way of life is always bustling and always alive. You can go out at any hour of the day, even in the middle of the night and you can still find a café or eatery that is open and bustling with business.
I was also surprised and impressed by the Asian people. Culturally they are very caring with a strong sense of community and tradition.
What do you find most interesting about Singapore?
I think Singapore is exciting because the entire city itself is so multi-cultural and cosmopolitan. It’s amazing how fast the people here adopt different cultures from the rest of the world. Moreover, everything around here is so organised and efficient.
You are the Executive Assistant Manager of Food and Beverage, so I have to ask, what is your favourite local cuisine?
Something I’ve noticed is that Singaporeans love their food. I think it’s amazing how some of the local hawkers (non air-conditioned food centres) here have been in operation for two or three generations. They cook from secret recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
My favourite local dish would have to be Roti Prata (an Indian fried flour-based pancake that is cooked over a flat grill. It is usually served with a vegetable or meat based curry). I find Roti Prata is absolutely fascinating because of the way it is made – when it is fresh, it has many layers, almost like a puff pastry. Plus, you get to eat it with your fingers!
The other cuisine I really enjoy here is Chinese food, which I feel is an extremely refined cuisine because it is very product driven and there is a large variety. I love the simple dishes such as a steamed fish with a good soy sauce. Soy sauce, I have to say, is a lot like wine; not just because it’s made from fermented beans, but because it is so nuanced! Different flavours and ingredients and mixtures produce different consistencies and grades of soy sauce.
What is it like being the EAM of F&B at Capella Singapore?
It’s amazing and exciting. The hotel itself is a landmark with its amazing architecture and concept. Rarely do you find a beautiful stately colonial building blended so nicely with modern architectural curves and designs.
More importantly, I believe that the people who work here and the quality of the product that we offer here are really great. Capella Singapore has got unbelievable potential and I’m proud to be part of the best hotels in Asia.